Ten years ago, my sister’s partner – a chocolatier in Yorkshire – introduced me to the concept of single-origin chocolate and the awakening of the UK’s craft chocolate revolution. Fast forward to today and I am a certified chocolate taster, international chocolate judge, and chocolate educator. I deliver workshops, curate tastings, pair chocolate to literature and design educational materials to inspire others to discover the pleasures of craft chocolate.
Yes, chocolate can, if you let it, become a bit of an obsession!
Chocolate has changed over time too. Alongside familiar brands giving us that feel-good factor and triggering memories of childhood indulgence, we can now choose from hundreds of artisan chocolate makers who source fine cocoa beans to make bars with flavour profiles that rival the quality and variety of fine wine, tea and coffee.
To begin with, I found the different origins, styles and prices difficult to navigate. Then with a little knowledge of how cocoa is grown, made and marketed, I began to make better choices and identified my preferences. I also learnt that you can only really discover how ‘fine’ chocolate is by tasting it.
The chocolate industry draws you in. It’s full of the most amazing people: makers, growers, academics and educators, all with a tireless passion for their work and a genuine willingness to share their experience and expertise.
Through the Cocoa Encounters blog, I aim to remove any perceived barriers to enjoying fine chocolate and encourage an exploration of the people, places, craftsmanship and sensory experiences of our new craft chocolate landscape.
Follow me as I continue my chocolate journey and discover more passionate companies and people along the way.
Kathryn Laverack, Founder Cocoa Encounters
Certified Chocolate Taster (IICCT Level 2)
International Chocolate Judge (International Chocolate Awards, Academy of Chocolate)
Chocolate Educator (Level 3 Education & Training)
“We gained a new appreciation of chocolate from Kathryn's discussions. As students we can learn a lot from her. All our senses were stimulated. Kathryn has a natural pedagogy.”
A very knowledgeable host
Kathryn possesses a depth of knowledge of – and passion for – fine chocolate that positively oozes out of her!